Textbooks, Computers, and a Tea Pot: Essential Gear of the Successful College Student

This room is filled with the essential gear of the successful college student ... photo by CC user KateSpan on wikimedia

You’re going to college soon – you need to start making a checklist. Aside from the usual costs like tuition and food, you’re going to need a few other supplies. Before you say goodbye to mom and dad for the semester, here’s what to stock up on.

A Good Laptop

A good laptop is absolutely essential for today’s college student. In fact, it’s probably the most important thing you can take with you. Don’t leave home without something at least as good as a mid-tier product either. No Acers. Can’t use ‘em. OK, you could use them, but don’t. Get yourself a Macbook Air, at least. Or, get yourself the top-tier Dell model. Lenovo are also a good choice as long as you’re going for the top-tier – again. Yes, they’re a bit pricey, but you’ll thank yourself three years from now when your laptop isn’t falling apart and the software still runs smoothly.

P2P File Sharing Software

It seems like every college kid these days is doing some kind of P2P file sharing. And, while you should not be breaking the law by downloading and sharing copyright-protected content without the authorization of the copyright holders, there is a legit use for file sharing software that’s wickedly underutilized: sharing original creations you make in college and sharing your study papers with classmates.

Simple P2P software, like the bittorrent client from www.Vuze.com, is really all you need to connect directly with other classmates to share pretty much anything you’ve done in class – from study notes to past homework assignments as study aides.

Free Word Processing Tools

Who wants to pay for Microsoft Word when OpenOffice suite is free? Better yet, LibreOffice. It’s got all of the tools you could ever want from the paid programs at a price you can’t argue with – even with the student discount offered from the competitor.

Used Books

No one likes paying retail for books. So, before you go off to college, verify your class schedule and then pick up some used textbooks from someplace like AbeBooks, Amazon.com’s used textbook section, or Half.com.

A Teapot

A teapot. Yes, a teapot. You need to eat, right? Between 4 hour study sessions, a teapot can heat up the boiling water you need for Ramen – every college student’s staple food.

Food Rations

You can’t live on college food and Ramen Noodle alone. They may be high in calories, but they’re really low in nutrition. It’s weird, but while students are getting your learn on, they’re also wrecking their health.

Your number one priority in college is to get a good education. To do that, you need to be healthy. You must get in all of your required fruits and vegetables, lots of good quality meat, and of course, fiber. Food rations can help you do that – nuts and seeds, dried beef jerky (not the kind with preservatives and artificial flavors. It’s actually really easy to make at home with a cheap food dehydrator and some beef and salt), and dried fruit like apricots, plums, and raisins.

Audrey Brown is a college dorm guru. As a resident director for many years, she loves blogging about the ins and outs of creating a great college dorm experience from decor and organization tricks to gadgets and study habits.

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